The Shooting Star by Hergé
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is my first Tintin adventure. I've seen the movie, been regaled with images of Tintin (the best of which are these Tintin meets Lovecraftian monsters mash-ups, and heard praise heaped upon Herge's head as a pioneer of the comic art. I'm not disappointed, but I'm not wowed either. Herge is no Winsor McCay, but his influence can be seen in Jean Giraud's work, which means that Herge was, at a minimum, influential on today's comic arts.
The Shooting Star is a strange mix: Surreal science fiction which, at the time, must have seemed outrageous, all built on a skeletal plot that is overly predictable and must have been hackneyed, even at the time it was first published. That's not to say that the book is not likeable, I liked it quite a bit, but the tissue-thin plot left me wanting even more strangeness than Herge provided. I'm not one to shy away from reading or writing plotless narrative, so long as there's enough excellent characterization, clever turns of phrase, beautiful sentences, or bizarre devices to keep my attention. I kept hoping for this while reading The Shooting Star, but it came up just a little short of my hopes. Still, a worthwhile read.
In the meantime, I'm waiting for someone to do more than mere covers of Tintin/Cthulhu matchups. Someone should do a kickstarter and do the whole thing as a series of graphic (and I do mean graphic) novels. I'd be first in line to buy in!
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